Credit: Entenza

The pause in athletic competition for Santa Barbara Unified High Schools has put the remainder of the season into overdrive as team’s play three games a week to make up for the postponement, including back-to-back games against Channel League foes in a three-day span. A number of fates will be decided as teams jostle for position in the standings and spots in the postseason.

“Every game going forward is a huge game for every team because one loss here and there can change how things end up,” said San Marcos boys’ basketball coach Jelani Hicks. “Everyone is still fighting for playoffs and where they will seed.”

As a result of the pauses that occurred in many school districts across Southern California, the CIF Southern Section has extended the regular season end dates for boys’ and girls’ soccer and basketball as well as girls’ water polo to February 6.

Credit: Entenza

The Family Stone

When Devan Stone hit a buzzer-beater to lift the Santa Barbara High basketball team over Dos Pueblos, the significance of his bloodline was hard to ignore. Devan’s uncle Julyan played at Dos Pueblos before enjoying a standout career at UTEP and playing in the NBA. His jersey is retired on the Sovine Gym wall just a few feet from the corner that Devan released a dagger that swished through the net and gave the Dons a victory in the first of two games against Dos Pueblos in a three-day span.

That shot accounted for all of Stone’s points in the game, but his presence was felt as he came through in the clutch.

“I was nervous because I wasn’t playing well the whole game,” Stone said afterward in the locker room. “I was shaking a little bit, but I just ran to the corner, hit the shot, and the rest is history.”

Devan’s sister Elle is a freshman starter on the Santa Barbara High girls’ varsity team, and his father, J.T. Stone, is Santa Barbara High’s head football coach.

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The Passing of a Legend

Former SBCC Athletic Director Mike Warren passed away this week of an apparent heart attack at his Goleta home. Warren was an active member of the Santa Barbara athletic community and coached football at Carpinteria, Lompoc and UC Santa Barbara. He was 76 years old. 

In 14 seasons as a high school head coach, Warren compiled a record of 128 wins, 34 losses, and four ties. His last 13 teams went to the postseason playoffs. At Lompoc, they reached four consecutive CIF championship games.

At the January 24 Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table (SBART), a moment of silence was taken in honor of Warren, who was a regular attendee and served on the board. Warren brought cookies every week to be auctioned off to the student-athletes in attendance, a tradition that the SBART plans to continue.

Changing of the Guard

For the first time ever, San Marcos wrestling claimed back-to-back Channel League titles. The Royals beat Dos Pueblos 42-33 on January 21 to clinch the Channel League crown.

Heavyweight wrestler Jake Carroll recorded a pin in the final seconds of his match to decide the dual meet for San Marcos.

Juan Torres at 162 pounds, Jacob Dominguez at 108 pounds, and Ambrose Partee at 182 pounds also registered pins against Dos Pueblos.

For many years, Dos Pueblos dominated wrestling in the area, but now San Marcos is building momentum as a program.

“This is just the beginning because we’re not letting go of this feeling,” said San Marcos coach Daniel Sifuentez. “We’ve got a youth program now feeding into my machine as all great programs do.”

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